WASHINGTON — Beginning June 21 at noon Eastern Time (ET), the United States Mint will begin accepting orders for the first collectible bags and rolls containing coins bearing the “S” mint mark of the United States Mint at San Francisco. The circulating quality coins are the first to be produced at the San Francisco facility in more than 30 years. The “S” mint mark quarters will not be released into circulation. The first bags and rolls released will contain America the Beautiful Quarters® coins honoring Puerto Rico’s El Yunque National Forest, the first quarter released in 2012.
“We were looking for a new numismatic product with an “S” mark,” United States Mint Deputy Director Richard A. Peterson said. “Feedback we had received from customers was that there was always great anticipation with products bearing the ‘S’ mint mark. We also felt that an ‘S’ mint mark on America the Beautiful Quarters® coins would bring some additional visibility to the program.”
Collectors will be able to purchase the “S” mint mark El Yunque National Forest Quarters in 100–coin bags priced at $34.95 or 40–coin rolls priced at $18.95. Orders will be accepted at the bureau’s online catalog, http://www.usmint.gov/catalog, or at 1–800–USA–MINT (872–6468). Hearing– and speech–impaired customers may order by calling 1–888–321–MINT (6468). All domestic orders will be assessed a shipping and handling fee of $4.95 per order.
The reverse of the 2012 El Yunque National Forest Quarter was designed by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program Associate Designer Gary Whitley and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor–Engraver Michael Gaudioso. The design depicts a Coqui tree frog sitting on a leaf and a Puerto Rican parrot behind an epiphyte plant with tropical flora in the background. The Puerto Rican parrot is a highly endangered species unique to Puerto Rico, and its recovery began with the few birds left in El Yunque. Inscriptions are EL YUNQUE, PUERTO RICO, 2012 and E PLURIBUS UNUM. The obverse continues to feature the familiar image of President George Washington.
The America the Beautiful Quarters Program, launched in 2010, is a 12–year initiative with 56 quarter–dollar coins featuring reverse designs depicting some of our most cherished national parks and other national sites. Under this program, the United States Mint will issue five new quarter designs each year, with one final design in 2021.
The United States Mint was created by Congress in 1792. This year marks the bureau’s 220th anniversary. The United States Mint is the Nation’s sole manufacturer of legal tender coinage and is responsible for producing circulating coinage for the Nation to conduct its trade and commerce. The United States Mint also produces proof, uncirculated and commemorative coins; Congressional Gold Medals; and silver, gold and platinum bullion coins.
Note: To ensure that all members of the public have fair and equal access to United States Mint products, orders placed prior to the official on–sale date and time of June 21, 2012, noon ET, shall not be deemed accepted by the United States Mint and will not be honored. For more information, please review the United States Mint’s Frequently Asked Questions, Answer ID #175.